Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

California Court Rules on Accounting Services Advertising

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

California Court Rules on Accounting Services Advertising

Article excerpt

Shaun Carberry, plaintiff, sued the California State Board of Accountancy for the right to advertise his business as an accounting service even though he was not a CPA.

Carberry is the sole proprietor of an accounting and tax preparation business known as Citizens Accounting and Tax Service. He had completed all the eligibility requirements to become a CPA except for the two year, of work experience that California requires for licensing.

In March 1993, the state board of accountancy ordered Carberry either to stop using the word accounting in his business name or to add a disclaimer that he is not licensed by the state. He filed suit, seeking to confirm his First Amendment right to use the word in his business. A lower court dismissed this claim and Carberry then appealed to the California Court of Appeals, First District.

He contended that because his business name is always accompanied by his own name and the designation EA (enrolled agent), he appropriately notified the public that he is not a licensed CPA. The court disagreed. saying the mere insertion of the EA designation did not adequately eliminate potential confusion over the term accounting and did not adequately alert the public that the advertiser is not a licensed CPA. …

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